A new plastic-free “trust mark” is being introduced today, allowing shoppers to see at a glance whether products use plastic in their packaging. The label will be prominently displayed on food and drink products, making it easier for consumers to choose greener alternatives.
UK supermarket Iceland and Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza – which introduced plastic-free aisles earlier this year – will start using the new labelling, alongside Teapigs teabags, but campaigners hope others will follow suit. “Our trust mark cuts through the confusion of symbols and labels and tells you just one thing – this packaging is plastic-free and therefore guilt-free,” said Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet, the campaign group behind the scheme.
As well as items obviously wrapped in plastic, scores of everyday products – from tinned beans to tea bags – have some plastic in their packaging. Sutherland said she hoped the new labelling system would revolutionise the way people shop and lead to a radical reduction in plastic waste.
“Finally shoppers can be part of the solution, not the problem,” she added. Iceland will begin to adopt the new labelling system on relevant own-label products this month, and roll it out across its range, which it has said will be free of single-use plastic packaging by 2023. Ekoplaza said it would be rolling out the trust mark in 74 outlets across the Netherlands.
A Plastic Planet has been campaigning for supermarkets to introduce plastic-free aisles and there has been growing pressure on the major retailers to do more to tackle the problem.